Forget boring tuna salad. This Buffalo Tuna Salad takes your classic tuna salad and kicks it up a spicy notch. Thanks to the combination of ingredients, it’s still perfectly creamy but with a spicy touch.

buffalo tuna salad in a bowl with tuna salad stuffed in celery on a plate. It's surrounded by buffalo sauce on a bread board and a kitchen towel.

Buffalo Tuna Salad Recipe

Like chicken salad and egg salad, tuna salad is a classic lunchtime dish. It’s a common filler for sandwiches and wraps or a topper for salads. You can also put it into lettuce wraps as a great way to get more green veggies in. 

If you ever feel like your lunches are getting a little mundane, that’s when it’s time to mix things up a little. 

This buffalo-style tuna salad is just that: tuna salad with a big kick. Buffalo tuna salad is a salad that combines canned tuna with the spicy flavors of buffalo sauce and creamy ranch dressing.

This gives classic tuna salad lovers a great spicy alternative to traditional tuna salad. 

It’s made with all the usual ingredients — canned tuna and mayonnaise, for starters — but gets an addition of buffalo wing sauce, making it nice and spicy.  

Why You’ll Love This Buffalo Tuna Salad Recipe

You’re gonna love this easy tuna salad recipe, and here’s why: 

  1. Bold, spicy flavor: Buffalo sauce is known for its tangy, spicy flavor that adds a kick. When combined with tuna in a salad, it creates a bold and flavorful dish that is sure to satisfy anyone who loves spicy food.
  2. High in protein: Tuna is a great source of protein, with approximately 20 grams of protein per 3.5-ounce serving. This makes spicy buffalo tuna salad great for meal prep. 
  3. Easy to make: Buffalo tuna salad is a simple dish that requires only a few ingredients and can be prepared in just a few minutes. This makes it a great option for busy weeknights or when you’re short on time. It’s a great easy lunch idea. 
  4. Simple ingredients: all of the ingredients are easy to keep on hand and find at your local grocery store.

Ingredients for buffalo style tuna

Here’s what you will need to make your own Buffalo Tuna Salad: 

  • canned white tuna – Use your favorite tuna. I usually grab albacore tuna.
  • mayonnaise – I love using Duke’s mayo for the flavor, but Greek yogurt works as a substitute if you want some extra protein.
  • buffalo wing sauce – Frank’s Red Hot is classic for all things buffalo, but your favorite hot sauce works too! 
  • ranch dressing – Buy store-bought or make your own! Blue cheese dressing works too. 
  • garlic powder – It’s always great to make sure that your spices aren’t expired. An easy way to check is the sniff test. If it doesn’t have a strong smell anymore, it’s time to toss them and buy new.
  • salt and pepper – Grab the kosher or sea salt along with some ground black pepper for this

Canned tuna comes in chunky and solid textures. The very small pieces of chunk-style tuna are great for a creamy tuna salad, whereas the bigger pieces of the solid canned tuna work better for pasta salad

ingredients to make spicy tuna salad

How to Make Buffalo Tuna Salad

First, drain your tuna. You want it to be fully drained to avoid a watery tuna salad. You can use a fine-mesh strainer or a colander for this.

Then, get out a mixing bowl and add the drained tuna, mayonnaise, buffalo sauce, ranch dressing, garlic powder, salt and pepper. 

Use a spatula to mix all of the ingredients until fully combined. All that mayo, ranch, and hot sauce should be evenly distributed and every piece of tuna well-coated. 

Add more salt and pepper to taste — and buffalo sauce too for more tang and spice.

How to Store Buffalo Tuna

Store Buffalo Tuna Salad in a food-safe, airtight container in the fridge. It will stay fresh for about five days, which makes it great for meal-prepping on a Sunday for the week ahead. 

Tuna salad can be frozen, but not for very long as the ingredients aren’t very freezer-friendly — namely the mayo, which will change texture when frozen. Freeze it in a freezer-safe container for one week. 

This is a great option if you want to meal prep for two weeks instead of just one, though! Keep half for this week, and freeze the other half for next. 

Tips & Tricks 

Make sure the tuna is fully drained completely before mixing it in. That will keep it from getting watery. 

Experiment with spice by trying it with other kinds of hot sauce. Cholula is a great option!

What to serve with tuna salad

There are so many ways to enjoy this tuna salad! Here are a few of my favorite ways: 

Buffalo tuna dip: If you love buffalo chicken dip and tuna salad, you’ll love a buffalo tuna dip. You can enjoy this tuna salad dip cold, as is, with chips, veggies, bread or crackers. Or you can bake it up into a hot dip, like I do with my favorite buffalo chicken dip.

Spicy tuna salad: Serve a scoop of this spicy tuna salad over a bed of lettuce. 

Tuna salad lettuce wrap: Use butter lettuce leaves to make healthy wraps for lunch or dinner. 

Buffalo tuna sandwich: Spread the tuna salad over your favorite bread for a great lunchtime main dish. Try it on a bagel, a bun or toasted bread. 

Spicy tuna salad wrap: Add a scoop of tuna to a tortilla or wrap bread to make a delicious wrap for lunch or dinner. 

Spicy buffalo tuna melt: Add tuna salad, cheese and tomatoes to bread and cook it on both sides to melt the cheese, like you would a grilled cheese.

Stuffed celery: fill celery sticks with the spicy tuna to get a cool touch to offset the spicy kick.

buffalo tuna salad in a bowl with tuna salad stuffed in celery on a plate. It's surrounded by buffalo sauce on a bread board and a kitchen towel.

FAQ for spicy tuna salad

How long does tuna salad last?

When stored properly in the refrigerator, tuna salad is best eaten within 3-4 days.

What kind of tuna is best for tuna salad?

Tuna salad works best with canned white tuna. The “chunk” style cans of tuna yield a creamier version. Popular brands are Bumble Bee, Starkist, and Chicken of the Sea.

Is buffalo wing sauce spicy?

Buffalo sauce certainly has a kick. That said, you can add more or less to taste in buffalo recipes. Some brands are spicier than others. I like to stick to Franks.

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Buffalo Tuna Dip

5 from 1 vote
Prep 5 minutes
Total 5 minutes
Servings: 2 people
Forget boring tuna salad. This Buffalo Tuna Salad takes your classic tuna salad and kicks it up a spicy notch. Thanks to the combination of ingredients, it's still perfectly creamy but with a spicy touch.



  • Mix all of the ingredients together until fully combined.
  • Serve and enjoy!



  • I like buying the white albacore tuna from Sam’s Club because it’s a firmer texture and has a better taste
  • Be sure to drain the tuna really well to prevent the tuna salad from becoming watery
  • Use your favorite buffalo wing sauce and ranch dressing here. It makes all the difference!


Serving: 1g, Calories: 248kcal, Carbohydrates: 2g, Protein: 34g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 0.01g, Cholesterol: 64mg, Sodium: 1178mg, Potassium: 350mg, Fiber: 0.04g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 41IU, Vitamin C: 0.01mg, Calcium: 23mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Lunch, Main Course, Main Dish, Main Dishes, Salad
Cuisine: American

Hi! I’m Kara!

Kara loves all things food and spending time with her family and dogs. She has a passion for cooking and loves making yummy, family-friendly recipes.

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